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Poster: larus Date: May 25, 2012 6:40am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: It Happened On Fifth Avenue (1947)

Wouldn't the lack of copyright notice render the film PD?
The film would be PD if we could be sure that it was originally published without a notice. On the other hand, a film that was originally published with a copyright notice will remain protected even if subsequent reissue or TV prints lack such a notice.
We've already seen a few red herrings, notably the 1954 3D film Gog which seemed PD due to a lack of notice until it turned out that although some (2D) prints didn't have a notice, the original (3D) prints did have a notice. And since the 2D prints were derivatives of the 3D print, copyright protection stood.
So the question is whether the DVD is derived from an original 1947 print without any alteration, or rather from a reissue or TV print on which the copyright notice went missing for some reason. Since the post-1947 Allied Pictures portfolio was sold to Lorimar Television, which was then itself taken over by Warner, it's possible that the notice went missing on prints made after the copyright transfers.

The film seems to be popular, with a 7.3 rating and over 600 votes on IMDB. As Moongleam noted, it is odd that Alpha Video (and other PD distributors such as Mill Creek) aren't all over it if it is PD. Regardless of what one may think of the quality of DVDs put out by PD distributors, it's hard to envision them going through the trouble of releasing films like Alimony (1949, 5.9 rating and 24 votes on IMDB) while neglecting much more attractive material (especially coming from such a well-known source of PD films as Monogram/Allied Pictures).
On top of it, the film was also Monogram/Allied Pictures' biggest production, at $1,200,000 according to Wikipedia. It consequently stretches credulity that Monogram/Allied Pictures wouln't have ensured that their biggest production would be published with a copyright notice. Missing (or invalid) copyright notices are very rare cases, and such mistakes are generally made by newcomers (such as the makers of the Saint Louis bank robbery)rather than established players.

I understand you're eager to make a contribution to the archive but I'd suggest sitting on this one.

This post was modified by larus on 2012-05-25 13:40:45

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Poster: mndean Date: May 25, 2012 7:47am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: It Happened On Fifth Avenue (1947)

Yeah, same deal with one I asked about awhile back, Paramount On Parade. No copyright notice on what's available now. I'm thinking the titles were replaced because they may have been originally Technicolor on that film, and all the Technicolor segments were lost.

It's interesting to note that It Happened On Fifth Avenue was the first film produced by Roy Del Ruth Productions and also the first film distributed by Allied Artists (ignore the other, much earlier films listed on IMDB - those are errors). I see a knotty problem that nobody wants to deal with, and probably rightly.

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Poster: billymays55 Date: Jun 21, 2012 10:26am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: It Happened On Fifth Avenue (1947)

Regarding "notice not being present on original film prints"

But you can tell from the beautiful quality that the Warner DVD was sourced from 35mm, isn't that proof enough that the notice is absent from original print?